Alabama businesses prepare for E-Verify deadline

Alabama businesses are running out of time to comply with part of the new controversial immigration law. All businesses in the state must sign up for E-Verify by April 1. 

Stephen Smith, Finance Director in Phenix City said, "You sign up for it and it is free. You submit the information when you employ somebody to be sure that they can legally be employed in the state of Alabama."

The E-Verify system confirms the legal citizenship of new employees.

Ramona Galapon-Wilson, owner of Mona Lisa's Consignment in Phenix City, will soon have to hire a new employee.  "I knew we were going to have to completely and thoroughly check our employees to make sure they were a US citizen but I had no clue of these E-Verify. So the process will be very new."

The city of Phenix City already uses the system, especially when they are contracting work out.

"I think you do have some responsibility as a citizen to know what is going on around you. Any business owner is responsible for being aware of the laws that affect their business," explained Smith.

State legislators are considering changes to the immigration law, but until that happens, the E-Verify requirement remains in place and will be enforced.    

Smith said, "If you are in this country illegally you are breaking the law and I don't see how you have a right to work here."

Homeland Security is helping to enforce the E-Verify process.

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - Copyright 2012 WTVM. All rights reserved.